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British and American English: 100+ Important Differences Illustrated

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British and American English! Do you know any differences between American and British English? The following lesson provides over 100 differences between British vs. American English with ESL images.

British and American English

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American English is the form of English used in the United States. It includes all English dialects used within the United States of America. British English is the form of English used in the United Kingdom. It includes all English dialects used within the United Kingdom.

Most people are well aware of some of the most obvious differences between American vs. British English. For example, American English omits the “u” in colour, neighbour, honour, etc. However, you might not have noticed that there are many British words which are not widely used in the United States, and vice versa.

British and American English Differences | Image

British and American English

British vs. American English Differences

British vs. American English Differences

British vs. American English Differences

British vs. American English Differences

British vs. American English Differences

British vs. American English Differences

Thevabalan Yasotharan

Monday 8th of February 2021



Wednesday 3rd of February 2021

British people say cat not pussy.


Thursday 21st of January 2021

As a British ESL teacher I can tell you that not all of these are correct. There is a lot of good vocabulary here and it is important to practice and be aware of cultural differences in language if you're planning on interacting with both British and American people. But also double check what you learn from the internet with a teacher. The very first picture is not a difference between American and British English at all. It is a table of 'reported speech' changes in grammar. The second picture in white and green has many errors, some examples are;

Sausage vs. banger; yes we call sausages 'bangers' in the UK but not as the main vocabulary, it's more of a nickname they earned during WW1 and WW2. Most people still call sausages 'sausages'. Cat vs. pussy; definitely not. While a cat can sometimes be referred to as a pussy cat we would never call it a pussy. This term in the UK is more of a vulgar term for a woman's vagina. Not something you want to make a mistake with. Asking a woman who has a cat "can I stroke your pussy?" will get you slapped. Plumber vs. engineer; completely wrong, these are two different jobs. We call a plumber a plumber in Britain. We would never refer to a plumber as an engineer. Just like we would never refer to a taxi driver as a pilot.

In several pictures: chips vs crisps; there is a correct difference here, but these two words refer to packets of crisps or packets of chips such as Lays. The image showing french fries is incorrect. Some people reading this might now be thinking of french fries vs chips, but again that is a common mistake. Chips and french fries are not the same thing. French fries are long and thin while chips are short and fat. To a British person, this is not a small difference.

In total (not including the reported speech picture) I found 21 mistakes. 2nd picture = 15 mistakes 3rd picture = 2 mistakes 4th picture = 1 mistake 5th picture = no mistakes 6th picture = 2 mistakes 7th picture = 1 mistake

Basically, don't trust everything you read online. Do your own research and double check information like this with your teacher. In some cases the mistakes are small and your teacher will explain that the differences don't matter (jumper vs. sweater) while in other cases the mistake is unforgiveable and the differences are very important to understand (cat vs. pussy).


Sunday 13th of August 2023

@Paula Vicente, first an answer to your question. Yes, in the UK practice with a C is a noun while practise with an S is a verb. I've been living and teaching abroad for so many years that I've unfortunately picked up some American spellings and pronunciations in my every day life. These aren't wrong by any means as they help reduce confusion for my students who mostly experience American English from TV, movies, and YouTube videos. But, it does cause me some grief when I return home and talk to my British friends. As for your other comments; the pound (£) is the currency of the UK and we do indeed use the word sandwich when referring to two slices of bread with a filler between them, I'm particulary fond of corned beef and salad cream. However, there is a great debate up and down our tiny little island concerning the correct word to be used for a bread roll. Is it bun...bap...roll....? Depends what part of the country your in.

Paula Vicente

Thursday 9th of February 2023

What I found rather weird is the money: dollars versus pounds. It is probably a typo mistake. And, don't the British also use the word sandwich? A question to you: isn't "practice" a noun, and "practise" a verb?

Anup Kumar Misra

Wednesday 18th of December 2019

Yes there are differences between both languages


Monday 24th of December 2018

please teach me how to learn by heart these differences between American English and British one.